By Lee Hughes
Staff Reporter 

Tennis-a-Thon brings in thousands

A good time had by all —especially the kids

 

Last updated 7/25/2019 at 8:36am

The 22nd annual 24 Hour Tennis-a-Thon was by all accounts another success this year as volunteers, coaches, players and participants came out to hit some balls, receive some lessons, and raise money for the Medical Lake Food Bank, Medical Lake Outreach Center and Medical Lake High School tennis teams.

“We’ve been out here for 24-hours or close to it,” volunteer Rob Haugen said on Thursday morning, July 18, as the event approached its conclusion.

He estimated that close to 70 kids alone had participated, and about 40 adults hadn’t let a little rain deter them from participating the night before.

Medical Lake High school tennis team players, Cardinal head tennis coaches Brian Tellez and Dawn Eliassen and a host of volunteers were present out on the court on Thursday, July 18, with enthusiastic groups of younger kids teaching tennis fundamentals and generally having a good time.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” Haugen said of the high school volunteers. “They do the majority of the work out here.”

Medical Lake High School Cardinal tennis players expressed enthusiasm for the event.

“We’re preparing the next generation of tennis players,” Cardinal senior Bradley Kenady said. “We’re helping all ages. It’s pretty cool.”

Teammate Jonah Lindsey agreed.

“It’s a good community event,” he said. “It brings kids together.”

Although the count wasn’t yet official, Haugen estimated the event had collected approximately $5,000 for local charities.

Longtime tennis coach and enthusiast, Leroy Lemaster, said the event had upwards of 50 sponsors from Medical Lake, Cheney, Airway Heights and even Spokane.

“My hat’s off to the communities that have supported us,” he said, pointing out that all donations stay in Medical Lake.

Lemaster said he had already delivered three boxes of donated food to the food bank.

He echoed Kenady’s observation about developing an early interest in tennis.

“Over the years there’ve been quite a few kids who participated in the event who turned out for the tennis team,” Lemaster said. “But the best part of the whole thing is watching the kids come out and have fun.”

Lee Hughes can be reached at lee@cheneyfreepress.com.


 

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